Highly rated dog trainers from around the United States offer their advice:
Consider the ingredients of successful training. Consistency, repetition, correction, praise, patience and — possibly most important — humor, will lead your dog to success.
Always follow through with whatever you’re asking the dog to do. Don’t repeat commands. If the dog isn't listening, add in a hand signal, or move in closer.
Be aware of your emotions and energy level. These directly affect your dog. Notice your voice inflection. Say “come” in a positive tone.
After feeding your dog, take away whatever he doesn't eat immediately. With housebreaking, remember that if you control what goes into the dog and when, you can control what comes out and when.
Keep training sessions short and positive. If progress lags, take a break and play.
Only pet your dog when you see desired behavior. This reinforces to your dog that he's doing what you want.
Figure out what your dog values most and make him work for them. For example, if your dog likes to play ball, make him sit before you throw the ball. Also, meal time is a good time to train. Feed the dog piece by piece as you teach something.
Regularly walk and exercise your dog. By doing so, you let the dog exert energy. Too much pent-up energy can result in a dog that misbehaves.
Set rules. If you're planning a family, put rules for your dog in place before the child arrives.
Be patient. Remember that an old dog can learn new tricks, though it may take longer than with a young one.